Archive for August, 2008

My heart’s not broken, but it is dented

Husband, sandwiched between two fretting babies, was trying to settle them down for a nap before I left for work. “I think they want to get up,” I said, watching him pat Robin’s back while Wren’s lower lip began to tremble. “They don’t want to go back to sleep.”

He sighed. “If I put them in the stroller they’ll be asleep before we’ve gone one block. We go through this every morning.”

What he said: “We go through this every morning.”

What I heard: “You don’t know how it works, because you’re not here.”

And I cried.

Being a working parent is not fun for me. Although Husband makes every effort to keep me in the loop – taking photos of the babies on their perambulations, regaling me with the details of their day – I feel left out of my family. When I call home from the office, I inevitably wake somebody up, so I try not to call. Before the babies were born, we planned to have Husband bring them in to the office a couple of times a week for a lunchtime visit; Wren’s hatred of the car and high gas prices have put the kibosh on that one. It often feels like we have a two-part family: husbandandkids, and me.

It would be easy for some to take my feelings and use them to bolster spurious arguments about what women “should” do, what our “place” is, so let me just head that line of thinking off right here. If my job were an interesting, rewarding place to be, I would feel less angst about being away. If I weren’t breastfeeding, and therefore pumping four times a day in my office (fun!), I would have an easier time ignoring the distance between me and my children. And if I didn’t know so many moms who stayed home with their kids, I might not grieve my own inability to make that happen. My gender alone does not determine my experience.

I am grateful that Husband is home with our babies, and that they will have a chance to forge a strong relationship right from the beginning. I only wish I could spend more time with all of them. And that money would rain down on us from heaven. Only cash, though; a quarter could do some serious damage from that height.

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Things that are good to eat: Wren’s partial list

  • Boobs – local and organic
  • Winkels – an excellent on-the-go snack
  • Board books (especially Boynton) – full of fiber
  • Boobs – soft and easily digestible
  • Noses (parents’) – great for sore gums
  • Toes (mine) – particularly delectable at diaper-changing time
  • My brother – fresh-caught, still wriggling
  • Booooooobsmmmmphmmnngmmmmmm

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Monday’s olympic event in pictures

walking

falling

fallen

Notice the gleeful smile on the baby in the last frame. If there were room for a thought bubble (or I were talented enough to make one), it would read “Again, Mama, again!”

My knees are sore, my shoulder aches, and my hand is slightly scraped, but Wren was completely unharmed and that’s what matters. My neighbor, who witnessed this spectacular tumble-and-roll, pronounced it a 10.

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A Fine Romance

One year ago, I made one of these for the physician’s assistant who coordinated the clinical trial through which we got our IVF:

my uterus

We kept in touch, and she mentioned several times that the doctor who had actually performed my egg retrieval and embryo transfer was very, very jealous of this little gift (not GIFT). So I made him something too, which I plan to give him at the clinic’s IVF alumni picnic in September. But I thought y’all might enjoy a peek at it first.

egg & sperm

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The Rule

Recently, somewhere in the estrogen-laced chaos of the feminist blogosphere, someone mentioned The Bechdel Movie Rule. Alison Bechdel, for those of you unfamiliar with her work, is the creator of Dykes To Watch Out For, possibly my favorite comic strip ever.

The deal with The Rule is that one of the DTWOF characters refuses to go to movies unless they 1) have more than one female character, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than a man. “Last movie I was able to see was Alien,” she grumps.

I was thinking about the movies I’ve seen in the last few months, and realizing that not one survived The Rule. Let’s make a list of movies that meet these criteria in comments; I want to see how many we can come up with.

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